Lady ’Cats record the sweep

Nate Neary, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College women’s basketball team busted out the brooms again this weekend, beating Southwest Minnesota State and the University of Sioux Falls.

“This past weekend was the most consistent we’ve played all season,” Head Coach Chris Kielsmeier said.

Four Wildcats scored in double figures during Friday night’s win against SMSU, 71-60.

SMSU got off to a hot start, taking a 5-0 lead, but WSC answered by scoring 13 of the next 15 points and never lost the lead again.

WSC shot 43 percent from the field, connecting on six of 14 3-pointers and 17 of 20 from the charity stripe.

Paige Ballinger led the team in scoring with 19 points on 9-12 shooting. She added six blocks, which moved her to fourth all-time in her career at WSC and third in single season blocks with 62.

Saturday’s game against Sioux Falls was a test against a quality opponent late in the season, as the Cougars came into the game with an 18-5 overall record and a 14-5 record in conference play.

“Saturday was our best game of the season. It was our most complete game,” Kielsmeier said. “I thought we really defended well and our offensive execution was awesome.”

The ‘Cats got off to a slow start, trailing USF 6-2 before scoring 12 straight points to take a 14-6 lead with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.

The second quarter had multiple lead changes, with both teams going on hot and cold streaks throughout. WSC took the lead into halftime, 28-25.

USF seemed to run out of gas in the second half, never reclaiming the lead as the ‘Cats expanded their advantage to as many as 15 points.

WSC shot 53 percent from the field, hitting two of six 3-pointers and connecting on 17 of 22 attempts from the free throw line.

Senior Anna Martensen led WSC in scoring with 18 points, followed by Maggie Schulte with 16 and Ballinger with 14.

The victory moved the ‘Cats record to 19-6 and 14-6 in NSIC play.

WSC will be back at home to close out the regular season, hosting Upper Iowa Friday at 6 p.m. and 23rd ranked Winona State Saturday at 4 p.m.